In my last post I had a photo of the fairytale toadstools that grow under the silver birch tree in my garden. I wandered around the internet and found quite a bit about it, most of it isn't that surprising. It is actually a very diverse little fungus when you start to read about it.
Silver Birch trees have a symbiotic relationship with the fly agaric fungus (Amanita muscaria) which produces its bright red toadstools in Autumn. The fungus helps soil nutrients to be absorbed by the tree's roots and it takes sugars from the tree in return.
It is actually the Toadstool commonly depicted in children's books. It is an hallucinogenic and is used in religious rituals and recreational pursuits.I'm a bit worried about the fairies in the garden now, maybe all that dancing around the Daffodils has more to do with the Toadstools they live under rather than just the joy of living? In some parts of Europe it is used for insect control. It has medicinal properties and is also poisonous. This is just a very brief description of the little red toadstool. For a more detailed description go to http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/Amanita-muscaria.htm